20 Minutes to Empower a Relationship

In November 1998, I climbed into the Haleakala Crater (Holly-Ah-Kah-Lah) which means "house of the sun”. It covers the whole east-end of the Hawaiian island of Maui. The rim of the crater is 6 miles in diameter at an elevation of 10,000 feet; its bottom covers 25 square miles and falls 2600 feet from the rim.

After a while, the thing that struck me most was that nothing lives in this environment . . no birds, no bugs, no plants; it is a caustic place. Then traversing the bottom, found myself in a totally flat, forty acre sea of black pumice. Only to come upon one of orange flower beckoning me; she said ‘sit down, share some life with me’. Asked me to stare at her for 20 minutes, no looking away.

After 2 – 3 minutes I became uncomfortable, not physically but emotionally. I was going to blow it off; she’d gently remind me to stay, there’s more. And, of course, there was . . . I’d get antsy, she’d soothe . . on every level, we went deeper.

In the end she suggested that I do this with my fellow humans; 20 minutes of ‘staying’ in the joy and pain of our co-created flow opens connective channels we will never find in discussion. A single flower in a sea inhospitable to life in any form speaking so poignantly of the inherent power of simplicity.

So I went home and ventured into 20 minutes séances with friends and strangers alike. Found that I liked the up close and personal sessions best; like faces so close together you can hardly see anything else. Of course, no words or touching; please know that staying through the uncomfortable patches brings great gifts.

Two decades later, still intimately remember every one of them. When reconnecting with those whom I have ‘broken time’ with, the experience usually finds its way into the conversation as the bedrock of our relationship. We can never walk in another's moccasins; nor honestly utter “I know just how you feel”. Yet, this 20 minutes will inform and ingrain forever the deep, moving story of a sentient being you were willing to brave this profound experience with.

HO TO THAT FLOW . . . . .

Love is . . . .